Sidmouth Chiefs contribute to their own downfall

Sidmouth Chiefs played against Torquay at the weekend. Ref shsp 5763-51-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth Chiefs played against Torquay at the weekend. Ref shsp 5763-51-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Chiefs went down 37-20 to Torquay Athletic, writes Terry O’Brien.

The Chiefs contributed to their own downfall against in-form Torquay, who dominated the set pieces for much of the game.

Despite a plentiful supply of possession, the ‘Tics margin of victory relied on sharp opportunism following Sidmouth errors.

The opening stages were evenly contested but the first scrum was ominous as the Sidmouth eight were shunted backwards. And the opening score was a penalty kicked after a scrum offence in front of the Sidmouth posts. This was the first of seven successful kicks out of seven by the fly half.

Another penalty followed soon after as the chiefs came under increasing pressure. This was soon followed by the first try scored by the outside centre when he intercepted a loose pass on the Sidmouth ten metre line.

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The Chiefs response was positive as they camped inside the Torquay 22, but they could not find a way through the defence. Eventually they had to be satisfied with a Sam Cavin drop goal for their efforts.

The visitors finished the half strongly. The fly half kicked a third penalty and, in the final minute, the number eight followed up a charged down kick to touch down a second try to make the halftime score 3-23.

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Soon after the restart, Stuart Bickerstaff was shown the yellow card for a late tackle. Torquay capitalised on the extra man at the next scrum by pushing the Sidmouth pack back for the number eight to pick up and dive over for his second try.

The bonus point fourth try came very much against the run of play. With Chiefs, restored to a full 15, were laying siege to the Torquay line, when the ball squirted out of the side of a ruck. The Torquay fly half was first to react and booted the ball upfield. With all the Sidmouth players committed to attack, the field was wide open. The fly half chased up to hack the ball on until it crossed the line and beat the covering defenders to the touch down.

Two minutes later, the influential Torquay number eight was yellow carded for an offence at a ruck. This prefaced a strong Sidmouth revival to give the final scoreline some respectability.

The Sidmouth forwards advanced a lineout maul deep into the visitors 22 before the ball was moved along the backline to the right. The ball was recycled from a ruck and Sam Cavin executed a dummy scissors move to open up the defence and sprint over for a try, which he converted.

The Chiefs were soon back on the attack. A break by Rory O’Brien was well supported by Christian Edbrooke, who was eventually tackled ten metres short of the line. When the ball emerged from the resulting ruck, Paul Richardson dummied his way over for an unconverted try.

The Chiefs continued to dominate and, in injury time, James Powell found a gap in the stretched Torquay defence to add a third try, which was followed by the final whistle.

On Saturday the Chiefs travel to Penryn to close the first half of the league season.

At the Blackmore Field the Quins entertain Exmouth 2nds with a 2.30pm kick off.

The Colts travel to Exmouth.

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